Flyers-Red Wings Preview
The Detroit Red Wings haven’t seemed to miss injured star Pavel
Datsyuk lately, though they may be presented with a whole new set
of challenges with Henrik Zetterberg out for an extended period of
Zetterberg will miss at least the next two weeks, starting
Wednesday night against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers as Detroit
looks to extend its winning streak to five games.
Datsyuk, who has a team-best 12 goals, has been sidelined for
the last four contests due to a head injury and is doubtful to play
Wednesday, though he could return soon.
Detroit (14-7-7) has made do without him, outscoring opponents
18-4 during its streak. Drew Miller scored twice and Daniel
Alfredsson had a goal and an assist in a 4-2 win over Ottawa on
Zetterberg didn’t record a point, and he’ll now miss time with a
small herniated disc, according to general manager Ken Holland. The
forward, who leads the team with 30 points (11 goals, 18 assists)
and is tied for first on the Wings at plus-12, could be out even
“He was a force at the end of last year and he’s probably been
our best player this year,” goaltender Jimmy Howard told the team’s
official website. “Night in and night out, he’s finding ways to put
pucks in the net for us or setting guys up.”
Detroit will need to continue getting scoring from elsewhere
with Zetterberg and Datsyuk out. Alfredsson has four goals and
three assists during the Red Wings’ run, while defenseman Niklas
Kronwall has two goals and seven assists during a six-game point
“For a while there no one scored except Pav and Hank, so
obviously (Alfredsson has been) huge for us,” coach Mike Babcock
said. “We need him going. Leadership’s key on any team. I think
Alfredsson coming has given us another guy.
“When things go good it’s not as big a deal. When things go bad,
that’s when you need to be stable, and I think we’ve been good that
Alfredsson recorded three assists, Zetterberg had two goals and
an assist and Datsyuk and Kronwall added a goal and two assists
apiece in a 5-2 win over Philadelphia on Oct. 12. Howard made 32
Jonas Gustavsson is 7-0-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average in
his eight starts this season after making 30 saves against the
Senators. It’s uncertain if he or Howard will be in net against the
Philadelphia went 8-2-1 in its previous 11 before falling 2-0 to
Minnesota on Monday in its second stop on a six-game road trip. It
scored fewer than three non-shootout goals for the fifth straight
time and its 57 goals are among the fewest in the league.
Vincent Lecavalier, who has a team-best nine goals, was
scratched in the last contest because of back spasms. His status
for this game is uncertain.
Forward Jakub Voracek hasn’t scored in 10 straight games.
”It’s unbelievable this year, so many chances,” said Voracek,
who scored a career-high 22 goals in 46 games last season. ”I hit
a couple posts, a couple good saves. Last year everything went
under the bar. … This year I think it’s going to go in and then
Ray Emery made 19 saves Monday, but Steve Mason – 6-1-1 with a
1.72 GAA in his last eight – could start this contest.